Glyndebourne 2020 – A little brightness in all the pandemic doom and gloom

Like all arts organisations during these gloomy times of the Covid-19 pandemic, Glyndebourne was forced to cancel their Festival 2020 and faced with a financial struggle. Unlike most, however, the Glyndebourne opera house is set in the middle of the Sussex countryside, with beautiful grounds, pleasant gardens and the lovely backdrop of the old country … Read more

Two more evenings of opera and ballet, live from the Covent Garden stage and available online  


Fundraising for our future – 
Royal Opera House announces Autumn Opera and Ballet Concerts 

The Royal Opera House is delighted to announce two packed evenings of opera and ballet, live from our stage in Covent Garden and available to view wherever you are in the world online.  

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A Truth in Art: Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain

Salome by Aubrey Beardsley (c) Tate Britain

A truth in art, said Oscar Wilde, is one whose opposite is also true. Aubrey Beardsley’s same friend also said, one should either be a work of art or wear a work of art. That is Dandyism for you. These men would sometimes spend hours tying a cravat. Whichever way you look at Beardsley there are contradictions. It is comic while being tragic. Lightweight while being ponderous. Intense while being relaxed. Dismissive while being possessive. Comic while being tragic. Knowing while being unknowing. Gilbert and Sullivan were Beardsley’s exact contemporaries. See my recent Seen and Heard piece on G&S topsy-turveydom (click here).

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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Centenary Concert will be streamed online on 5 September


Saturday 5 September, 7pm
Streamed on the CBSO’s YouTube and Facebook channels

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) has today announced that it will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first ever concert with a landmark performance featuring the full orchestra and filmed at a production warehouse in Birmingham.

The varied programme will be conducted by former Music Director Sir Simon Rattle, who is handed the baton for this special event by the orchestra’s current Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, while she is on maternity leave. They are joined by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and sitar player Roopa Panesar, and the performance will be presented by Birmingham-born actor Adrian Lester.

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Young-Jin Hur in conversation with Vasily Petrenko

Vasily Petrenko, © Svetlana Tarlova

The world is complex in its embrace of seeming opposites. There is joy in sad music; individual preferences coexist with societal norms; natural tendencies may complement acquired processes. The world is complex, but it is simple in its consistent presence of contradictions. This complexity also holds true for life’s challenges. The truism that bearing difficulties strengthens the self is elevated to metaphysical heights in Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. In the realm of music, Igor Stravinsky viewed that ‘the more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.’ A time of difficulty and limitation, thus, seems also a story of hope.

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St John’s Smith Square announces ‘ARTIST LAB’



The covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges around the world. Clearly, our first priority is everyone’s health and well-being, but an important part of this is people’s enjoyment of music and the arts. Concert halls have closed their doors and musicians are unable to work. This creates enormous pressures and challenges as people’s livelihoods are challenged and venues face an uncertain future.

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